Friday August 1, 3:30 pm Israel time: Updates on the Israel-Hamas War

UPDATE 3:30 pm:

The kidnapping incident this morning has now been revealed in more detail.

A Hamas suicide bomber came out of a tunnel, ran toward a group of soldiers, and blew himself up. In the ensuing melee, more terrorists emerged from the tunnel and kidnapped 2nd Lt. Hadar Goldin of the Givati Brigade. It is not known if Goldin is alive or dead though likely he is the latter.

Two other Israeli soldiers were killed by the bomber.

The two dead Israeli soldiers, the kidnapped soldier–all three of these young men were attacked under cover of “humanitarian ceasefire.”

UPDATE 2:00 pm:

An Israeli soldier has been kidnapped by Hamas terrorists at the Kerem Shalom Crossing or in the nearby vicinity. It is not known whether the kidnapped soldier is alive or dead.

At approximately 9:30 am this morning when Israel was observing a “humanitarian ceasefire”, two teams of Hamas terrorists emerged from separate tunnels near the Crossing. 

In the ensuing fight the soldier was kidnapped. Details are still emerging at this time.

I do not have the words to express my absolute disgust with John Kerry and Ban Ki Moon who made this kidnapping possible.

Nor do I have the words to express my absolute disgust with PM Netanyahu and his cohorts in the Israel Security Cabinet who agreed to the ceasefire.

By doing so for the sixth time, Netanyahu and those who vote with him in the Cabinet once again put our precious soldiers in mortal danger. And this time, Hamas has taken full advantage of Kerry and Moon’s malicious actions and our security cabinet’s stupidity.  

UPDATE 12:00 pm:

The Kerem Shalom Crossing is in the lower left of the map (The light gray area is Israel). It is almost exactly at the point where Egypt, Gaza, and Israel meet.

The Kerem Shalom Crossing is in the lower left of the map (the light gray area is Israel). The crossing is almost exactly at the point where Egypt, Gaza, and Israel meet.

All hell has broken loose at the Kerem Shalom Crossing in the last two hours. Whether this has brought an end to the 72 hour Kerry-Moon ceasefire designed to save Hamas is not completely known at this hour.

The ongoing security incident began at 10:04 am when Hamas terrorists in Gaza fired missiles (or mortars) at the Kerem Shalom Crossing. The crossing is a place where a sizeable contingent of Israeli soldiers is always stationed. Their purpose is to oversee humanitarian transfers of supplies into Gaza.

Obviously, Hamas’s purpose in firing at the crossing is to repeat what has happened twice in the last 48 hours when mortars twice struck groups of Israeli soldiers killing 4 two days ago and five more late yesterday afternoon.

At 10:50 am, Hamas fired missiles or mortars into Kerem Shalom again.

After this point, what has happened is unclear. One report is that terrorists emerged from yet another undiscovered tunnel nearby and were immediately engaged in a firefight by IDF troops. Another report is that Israeli artillery opened fire on the terrorists.

There are number of dead and wounded, but israelstreet would like to obtain more information before posting unconfirmed reports.

Similarly, there is a report that Israel has contacted relevant parties in Cairo to inform them the “ceasefire” is over. This seems to be confirmed by a report in the last 5 minutes from the Egyptians that there will be no ceasefire today–and that no should even come to Cairo to discuss one. 

UPDATE 10:04 am:

It has taken Hamas exactly 2 hours and 4 minutes to break the “humanitarian ceasefire”. Missiles were just fired out of Gaza at Kerem Shalom. 

Ironically, the Kerem Shalom Crossing is the crossing through which Israel sends humanitarian supplies into Gaza.

UPDATE 9:00 am:

**Just how clearly the U.S. and the U.N. have stepped in to save Hamas was indicated by John Kerry in a press conference a few hours ago when he said that Israel would only be able to continue to destroy tunnels “behind the line” currently held by IDF troops.

After the press conference, various news agencies have reported that what Kerry meant to say was that Israel could only destroy tunnels on the Israel side of the border–but that still seems to be in dispute. 

But the bottom line is that there can be no more “offensive” actions taken against the Hamas tunnels–and no more offensive action taken against Hamas, period. One of the world’s premier terror organizations, Hamas,  has been saved by the United States and the United Nations.  

A great cartoon from this morning that expresses it all (please note cartoonist and copyright that israelstreet gratefully acknowledges):


(Cartoon created by Branco: Legal Insurrection)

UPDATES 8:00 am:

**At this moment, yet another “humanitarian truce’ is supposed to go into effect. Supposedly, this truce is a 72 hour truce that allows IDF troops to remain in Gaza–and allows them to continue to perform “defensive” work on the tunnels.

However, there is some question about what constitutes “defensive” work. Does this mean that the IDF can continue to discover tunnels? Does this mean that the IDF can destroy tunnels that we have already found?

The coming hours, perhaps minutes, will tell the tale. As we all know, Hamas and its fellow terrorists have yet to abide by any “humanitarian truce.”

**There is no question that the constant stuttering caused by “humanitarian truce” after “humanitarian truce” has had a terrible effect on IDF momentum.

But more importantly, it has exposed IDF soldiers to mortal danger.

For the second time in three days, another 5 IDF soldiers were tragically killed late yesterday afternoon when a mortar exploded on top of the area where they were waiting to enter Gaza.

61 Israeli soldiers have now given their lives for Israel in this war with Hamas.

When the history of this war is written, one aspect of it will be how the disastrous attempt of the Israeli government to gain international approval cost many IDF soldiers their lives.

**We came out of our bomb shelter here in Ashdod 20 minutes ago. This was the 91st time that we have been down there since the war began. This time, we were on the receiving end of another 7 missiles. Yesterday there were 36 separate launches by terrorists in Gaza involving 136 more missiles–all of which were designed to kill Israeli men, women, and children.

4 minutes ago, at 7:56 am, another missile attack was launched on the Eshkol region. 

**Let’s see how long this latest John Kerry–Ban Ki Moon “ceasefire” lasts. The agreement calls for both terrorist forces and the IDF to “hold in place”, but this, of course, is a joke insofar as Hamas is concerned because it is underground.

Your humble servant suspects that the ceasefire will last just as long as it takes Hamas to regroup, but who knows? 

Stay tuned throughout the morning for further details.

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